Jose Mourinho’s men missed a glorious chance to secure three points against minions Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday and move into the Top Four of the Premier league table by displacing Manchester City from the 4th spot. The 1-1 draw against the Swans leaves a United in their usual 5th place and with the prospect of having to play out a tough game away at the Emirates on Sunday. Injuries to defenders, Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly, don’t make things better for the Red Devils in any way. The two add further to the long list of United injuries comprising of names like Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba. Despite the stellar performances of Herrera, Rashford, Mkhitaryan and even Rooney in the slew of impressive wins over Sunderland, Chelsea and Burnley, United seem to be slipping in to a trap of drawn matches again as evident form their last two outings of 0-0 and 1-1 against Manchester City and Swansea respectively. The weekend’s clash at the Emirates also threatens to become one of more with a similar result.
At this juncture, Arsene Wenger’s men would welcome even a point from a drawn game, given their horrendous form in the last couple of months. The 0-2 loss to Tottenham at the White Hart lane on Sunday more or less confirms that the Gunners are out of the Top 4 for the first time since the 1994-95. With big names like Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, this season’s big signing, Granit Xhaka, totally off-colour and the mercurial striker Alexis Sanchez getting no support upfront, there seems little hope for an immediate revival at the Emirates.
The loss against Tottenham was the fifth for Arsenal in the last ten Premier League games and the semi-final win against Manchester City in a FA Cup semi-final clash seemed to be a brief positive blip in a other-wise miserable phase. The Gunners have two tough away outings against Southampton and Stoke City following the Emirates’ clash against United and there’s a danger that they may slip below 7th-placed Everton, if their lackluster show for the season continues.
United’s last trip to the Emirates was way back in October 2015 when they were handed out a 0-3 defeat by the very impressive hosts. In their present shape, the Gunners look a shadow of their past. In the light of this, it seems surprising that the bookmakers have chosen to place odds on an Arsenal win. The most likely outcome is a draw.
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